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Winning as a B2B Tech Startup: Let industry analysts guide you to stardom

Being a tech founder is tough.

If you do everything right, there’s still less than a 50% survival rate after 5 years. 

Working with industry analysts (Gartner, IDC, etc.) can make that rate jump to 84%, according to research by the University of Edinburgh.  

So, what are the secrets?  How do you get some of this power?

Getting covered in an analyst research publication, like the Gartner Cool Vendor report, is a tremendous accomplishment for a startup.  It gets your name in the market in a big way.  But it doesn’t happen by accident.  It is a result of a smart, strategic analyst relations plan. 

This smart plan addresses the common challenges startups find as they pursue the 84%.

  1. Difficulty in getting attention from influential analysts.  Startups want recognition and validation from respected analysts establish vendors as thought leaders in the industry. What to do:  Analysts are naturally interested in startups as they closely track the  evolutions and revolutions within a domain. They need to keep up on innovations to maintain their expertise.  Startups can leverage that interest to secure briefings (free).  Promise new, critical information.  Show differentiation and disruption. Wow them.   

  2. Lack of clarity about the ROI of analyst relations.  Startups looking for quick wins and returns need to understand the way analyst relations work.  Analysts make a huge difference through recommendations, coverage, strategic insights – but these require time to build advocacy and trust. What to do:  Start today.  Identify the analysts that are most relevant to your priorities in your domain.  Brief them with compelling and differentiated information and they’ll want to know more and keep in touch regularly. Once you have an analyst’s advocacy and trust they start to influence the market in your direction. ROI flows naturally out of that. 

  3. Challenges in articulating your company story.  Every positive outcome from analyst relations comes from your ability to impress them with your story.  What to do: Message test with “safe” analysts that are not critical to your success.  These are friendlies, usually outside of the top firms. These analysts will help you hone your message to impress the rest of the market (including the top analysts). Focus on the value you deliver and show how you deliver more value than alternatives. Tell your story through the eyes of a customer.  How did you make them a hero?

  4. Difficulty in navigating the analyst landscape.  There are somewhere around 8000 individual analysts working for 1000 different firms.  It can be overwhelming to identify the ones that really matter. What to do:  While it is possible to comb through the analyst landscape through web searches, analyst firm websites, industry events, etc., it is tedious and challenging.  An analyst relations expert has the tools and experience to identify and prioritize for you.  Bring one inhouse or outsource this process. 

  5. Feeling outplayed by larger competitors.  Mid-sized and larger vendors all run strategic analyst relations programs. They get the mindshare and benefit, while startups almost always miss out. What to do:  Don’t leave the analysts to the big guys!  Analysts want to learn about disruption and innovation, and they know that mostly happens at the startup level. They are generally eager to hear from you and can offer tremendous wisdom, if you know how to ask. Analysts like to help startups thrive.  It makes the game that much more interesting. 

A strategic analyst relations plan gets your business on the analyst’s radar, and getting on the radar leads to coverage, positive evaluations, and recommendations to prospects.  Opportunities abound!

Working with analysts as a startup does NOT have to cost a lot of money.  You can begin with little or no financial investment. What’s important is your strategy, your attention, your clarity and your focus on business priorities. Analyst relations is extremely nuanced - it takes experience and expertise to do it right. 

Make sure you have someone on your side to guide ,and devote the effort necessary to make success happen.  You deserve it!  Your vision deserves it!  

We’re always available to chat about the possibilities for your business. Set a call at

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